Fear the Dog? Embrace the Fear

Marsie the Cat: Let’s talk about fear, human.

Me: I’m just afraid of so much stuff.

Marsie: You’re afraid of failing, of being vulnerable, of exposing yourself to the world, am I right? Or worse — What if nobody even notices you? Or worse — What if there is suddenly no catnip in the house?

Marsie with one of her humans



Me: How do you know so much?

Marsie: I am a cat. Therefore, I know all things. Plus, I know about fear. But I don’t care. I live my life. Look at this photo. I am on the dog bed and right there — it is the evidence that the dogs destroy things! That was a perfectly good owl toy and it is dead now. That dog has jaws of steel and could eat me in a second for daring to be on her bed. But do I care? No! I still claim the dog bed. You, human, need to claim the dog bed.


Marsie doesn’t understand that sometimes it’s hard to claim the dog bed. I wrote about this on Instagram awhile ago because I was thinking about one of my grandmothers.

She wrote so many poems and made so many paintings that she never let anyone see.

She couldn’t handle the scorn. But she couldn’t NOT create things.

She was afraid of the ocean, thought it was this massive, beautiful deadly force.

Men can be like that too sometimes, she told me. I don’t know why we are expected to be so strong. Why must we be so strong and vulnerable?

I was like ten when she asked me that so I didn’t have an answer.

A blurry image. Sorry for the blur.

This painting is inspired by one of her paintings that she left unfinished. I don’t know if she had copied the original or if it was her own, but the woman walking across a realistic earth, approaching the sea all huddled and afraid and then reaching out for the unreal sky makes me think of her. Afraid but reaching out.

I am not an artist. I have absolutely no training at all except for a high school art class, but all I want to do is paint.

I am not a great philosopher, but still I’m compelled to share what I think.

I sound like a Muppet and slur my s’s, but still I’m making podcasts and I’m in charge of a really intensive online writing class that forces me to talk on video to 12 people every month. And the whole time I think — I am so afraid to do this. People will hear my voice and laugh (not in a good way).

All these things scare me so much.

And every time I write a book, I think:

  • What if nobody reads it?
  • What if nobody likes it?

But life and creating is all about vulnerability. It’s about saying yes to experiences even though it’s so scary. Yes, just writing a blog post is scary to me because it’s vulnerable. You can do that, too.

Really. I’m not very exceptional at all, but I try to become better. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I have to make my cat talk to have a blog post, but that’s okay. Because it’s something.

You are something, too.

So, maybe think for a second:

  • What is it that makes you vulnerable?
  • What is it that makes you scared to say ‘yes’ to things?

Because here’s the thing (cue meditative Stuart Smalley music from that ancient SNL skit): You are enough. You are good enough and real enough and authentic. Your story matters.

And if other people don’t see it? Their loss. What matters is that YOU see it.

Marsie is right about that. Not so right about the cat nip.

Seriously, this is what happens when you have too much cat nip.




Four Types of Energy You Can Manage to Live Life Better

Lambs and Community Theater and Resilience

Originally published at https://livinghappy.substack.com.

My Mom And Hugging Away The Judgement

You Have To Believe in The Good–Living Happy Roundup

My mother spent a lifetime hugging other people. Meeting after meeting, interaction after interaction, for the entire time that she was alive, she would hug people when she saw them and hug them when they left.

Her hugs were many.

Her hugs were long.

She would open her arms wide, her eyes would twinkle, her dimples would show and it was almost impossible not to step toward that 5 foot 1 frame and hug. She’d often smell like vanilla and brown sugar on top of her perfume, a fancy kind that she’d ask for every Christmas. It came from Jordan Marsh, which was a big deal store decades ago. It was fancy, too.

She would open her arms and you would step into them.

My mom always wanted to be a teacher, but life got in the way. Love with my stepdad when she was still in high school became a big deal drama. He was run out of state. She was desperate to leave home. She married my little hobbit down and though she was brilliant—impeccable at math and grammar, the fastest typist anyone in Bedford, New Hampshire had ever seen—she settled for a life without college. She raised her children. Felt unloved. Unfulfilled. Had another child and a scandal. That child was me.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you are less, Carrie,” she’d tell me before I knew even what less meant. “You are good, so good.”

“You are too, Mommy,” I’d say back for years and years.

You are too.

My mom with her brothers

My mom often felt judged by people who were richer, who had less drama, who weren’t addicted to Marlboro Lights or canned tuna, who got to go to college, by ministers who cheated at bowling, by men who cheated on their wives but didn’t get caught, and women too. She’d dance around the house when she vacuumed or did dishes singing about the “Harper Valley PTA” a song about a women judged in her small town for loving wrong.

But even then. She would throw her arms open and let people hug her. She’d know everything about everyone—she became the town clerk, a real estate agent, an office manager, organized her class reunions—and people told her things.

“We all have secrets,” she’d tell me. “You have to hug your way through them.”

My mom died over a decade ago. On her hospital bed, two days before she left, she tried to share her hospital ice cream with all of her surviving kids. She insisted.

“Good,” she murmured, “it’s so good.”

Hugs come in different ways. My mom knew that. Sometimes, people have personal boundaries and didn’t want one. She always respected that, too, but she’d find other ways to give them. In the offer of ice cream, in listening without judgement, in a dimpled smile, or in words. Sometimes her strongest hugs were words. Words like “You are good, so good.”

Despite all the drama in her life, despite her missed opportunities, my mom lived her life with purpose. That purpose? It was to hug. It was to remind people they are loved. It is to remind them that they are good.

So, in honor of her this Monday, let me share her purpose for a hot second.

You are worthy of hugs. You deserve them.

You are worthy of love. You deserve that, too.

And the inside of you? That part that sometimes feels too raw to share? It is good. So full of good.


Four Ways Hugs Are Good For You, which I’ve retitled My Momma Was Right

Berkeley’s Purpose In Life quiz


I have another blog where I post this sort of thing more often than here on my writer website. It’s free, but it is a subscription model and I tend to post there on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays.

These are some recent links from there.

I’ve Been Talking to People I’m Scared of And It’s Turning Out Okay. And a Bit About Choice and Who You Are

Crawling Through The White House Fence And Let’s Get Stoic

How DO you actually manage your time?

It’s about lists and hacks

There’s a book by Chet Holmes called The Ultimate Sales Machine, that I used on my post Saturday to springboard into a discussion about time management and productivity.

I’m going to be continuing that thread a bit today for our round-up. This sort of information (about my life and about trying to make it better) doesn’t usually show up here on my blog. It’s usually on my substack, LIVING HAPPY. It’d be awesome if you go check it out. There’s usually not really any overlap.


Holmes’ second tip on time management is to make lists. And the key, he says, is that you want to keep your list to the top six things you want to get down that day — maybe list them out every day on a sheet of paper. I do this the day before because I get anxious if I don’t have a clear idea of my next day.

Over on the Muse, Lily Herman suggests,

“If you’re new to making a to-do list, start small (only four or five action items per day) and use a simple tool or app to write down your tasks (like MacBook’s reminders app or just a traditional paper list). For everything else, I like to keep a separate tab on my MacBook reminders app for tasks that need to be done at a later date (aptly called “Later To-Do”), so that I am only focusing on what’s most important on any given day or week. I would highly recommend doing something similar, regardless of whether you have a paper list or a digital one.”

Full disclosure: I currently have a really long workday because Shaun can’t work full time right now because Xane’s type of autism requires them to be at home and dial in for about 90-minutes worth of classes. It also means they have a lot of needs. This means that I have to make up a majority of the income. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever had a six item or a four item to-do list in the past few years. So, if you’re into big to-do lists and don’t think they are intimidating, go for it. I do.


The next thing that Holmes suggests is something else I’ve started doing this year, which is figuring out how much time each task will take.

So, you just go through those six items and put how much time you’ll spend on it.

Here’s my Saturday example:

  • Work on Brooklyn’s story 60 pages– 2 hours
  • Work on Ross’ story 50 pages — 1 hour
  • Get Loving the Strange Up — 30 minutes
  • Write Living Happy Extra — 1 hour?
  • Emails — 30 minutes
  • Marc notes to him — 1 hour
  • Write Iceland revise 1 chapter plus 500 words — 1 hour
  • Revise Magic — 30 minutes
  • Write On the Agenda — 30 minutes
  • Write Round Up — 30 minutes

I tend to try to overestimate my time and then if something takes 20 minutes instead of 30, I have a happy, little party inside my head. It’s always good to have a happy, little party in your head.

Sometimes, you can’t control the amount of time things take. Like if I’m reporting on a Town Council meeting and it ends up running from 6 to 11 instead of 6 to 9 like I was hoping. That’s okay. Life is like that.

Planning out your time is super helpful to get your goals done. I mean, if you look at my list, a lot of those items aren’t going to be completed on Saturday because they are working on big novels (my own and other people’s). But because I dedicate time to it each day, it happens.

Holmes says you should you should keep your productive tasks to six hours. I fail at this. However, the science is starting to agree.

Forbes article by Julia Chang writes,

“Past research has also made the case that productivity isn’t harmed by working fewer hours. A 2016 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of its member countries found that productivity actually went up when people worked fewer hours. And a 2014 study out of Stanford University found little correlation between the number of hours worked and productivity, even finding that results start slipping after people worked 50 hours.”

And an article by Steve Glaveski for the Harvard Business Review writes,

“Many of today’s organizations sabotage flow by setting counter-productive expectations on availability, responsiveness, and meeting attendance, with research by Adobe finding that employees spend an average of six hours per day on email. Another study found that the average employee checks email 74 times a day, while people touch their smartphones 2,617 times a day. Employees are in a constant state of distraction and hyper-responsiveness.

Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp and author of It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work, said on my podcast, Future Squared, that for creative jobs such as programming and writing, people need time to truly think about the work that they’re doing. “If you asked them when the last time they had a chance to really think at work was, most people would tell you they haven’t had a chance to think in quite a long time, which is really unfortunate.”

“The typical employee day is characterized by:

Hour-long meetings, by default, to discuss matters that can usually be handled virtually in one’s own time

Unplanned interruptions, helped in no small part by open-plan offices, instant messaging platforms, and the “ding” of desktop and smartphone notifications

Unnecessary consensus-seeking for reversible, non-consequential decisions

The relentless pursuit of “inbox zero,” a badge of honor in most workplaces, but a symbol of proficiency at putting other people’s goals ahead of one’s own

Traveling, often long-distance, to meet people face-to-face, when a phone call would suffice

Switching between tasks constantly, and suffering the dreaded cognitive switching penalty as a result, leaving one feeling exhausted with little to show for it

Wasting time on a specific task long after most of the value has been delivered

Rudimentary and administrative tasks

“People waste a lot of time at work,” according to Grant. “I’d be willing to bet that in most jobs, people would get more done in six focused hours than eight unfocused hours.”

Okay, back to time management.


There are a ton of templates on the internet where you can plan your day out either digitally or via a piece of paper. I’m a scrap paper sort of person usually.

Yes, I am messy.

It helps me not feel overwhelmed if I can see that I have the time to do the tasks that I need to do.

Canva has some free daily plans that you can customize. And there are apps too. Here’s a list.

I hope that helps!


How Do You Actually Manage Your Time

90 Day Goals Can Change Your Life

The Power and Magic of Weirdness






The Power and Magic of Weirdness

Some people even call it a super power.

I used to be weirder.

I know! For some of you that’s hard to imagine, but the truth is that I just sort of let my freak flag show no matter what level of freak that currently is.

This, obviously, was a bad idea when I ran for the state legislature (and lost thankfully). It was strongly recommended that I take down my blog (it was LiveJournal to give you context) so that my weirdness would be hidden from the voters.

That didn’t happen. I kept the blog up.

Pretending to be someone different isn’t the way I work.

Take, for example, the fact that I post animal thoughts on weekdays on my social media and here.

I know sarcastic animal thoughts play much better. But that’s not me. So instead it’s like a weird hybrid of worry about other humans and imploring everyone to be okay.

In The Perks of Being a Weirdo, an article in The Atlantic written by Olga Khazan, she talks about how not fitting in can sometimes make you more creative. She also has a talk about it with Wisconsin Public Radio.

Denise Hill writes in LifeHack,

“Society has conditioned us to be conformist. When you are called weird instead of hearing an insult, you should understand that you have just been paid one of the highest compliments. You have just been told that you are unique, bold, daring, exceptional, authentic and that you are special. Weird people think differently and choose to respond to the world around them differently – they own their individuality. It takes courage to go against the grain and to choose a distinct path in life.”

Weird people, she says, are divergent thinkers and that’s okay.

Part of what makes you weird, what makes you different from society’s norm, is often what makes you powerful. Embracing your weirdness allows you to love your own self, to be authentic, to not be fake, to not live your life as a lie.

That’s all really good stuff.

It’s also made me wonder where my goofy, weirdness went. Obviously, I’m still not normal, but I pass for normal a lot more than I used to. And I miss the Weird Carrie. The Random Carrie. The Carrie Who Just Was Who She Was.

So, here’s my weird little video from that time in my life when I used to be even weirder. I’m working my way back there right now.

I hope you’ll embrace your weird, your strange, with me, too.


Being Insecure Sometimes Is Okay

Waking up at 5 a.m. when I’m a night owl


Don’t Drink 40 Shots With The Undertaker. The Voices In Your Head Craft Your Success

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Don't Drink 40 Shots With The Undertaker. The Voices In Your Head Craft Your Success

“God, how we get our fingers in each other’s clay. That’s friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of each other.” 

― Ray Bradbury

This episode is about the stakeholders in your head and how they shape your success and also about drinking 40 shots with wrestling guru the Undertaker.


Only listen to the good voices and don’t drink 40 shots.

Our Puppy Ate A Lot of Tampons
Our Puppy Ate A Lot of Tampons, She Survived. She shouldn’t have listened to those voices.




The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.


AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

The Vulnerable Gnome

Be Brave Friday

Yesterday, there was a package.

And the package was addressed to me.

Inside that package wasn’t actually a present I ordered for someone else, which is what I was expecting. Inside that package was the unexpected; it was a present for me.

Not just any present. A handmade present.

Not just any handmade present. A gnome.

I love gnomes almost as much as manatees. That’s a big love. And here was this brown, adorable gnome that had travelled in a dark box surrounded by packaging, taking this journey where he didn’t know his reception, didn’t know his outcome, didn’t know if he’d get there, didn’t know if he’d be loved when he did.

Jumping up and down, I hugged the gnome to me and started tearing up, because I am so lucky and I know what it’s like to feel like that gnome: boxed in, afraid, not really knowing where I’m headed and getting bumped around a bit in the transit.

Maybe you feel a bit like that sometimes, too?

the most excellent gnome

But in the package was also a handmade card about being brave that I truly needed this week. It was like getting the best, biggest, unexpected hug (if you’re a person who likes hugs).

When you write books or a news blog, when you share your art, when you share your thoughts, you put yourself out there and that is vulnerable. I’ve been feeling pretty vulnerable these past two weeks.

This vulnerability is especially when you aren’t perfect. Believe me, I am SO far from perfect. And my ego wants me to never make a mistake. Ever. But my heart is so lucky and blessed when people let me know that I have. I am often shocked by how kind and gentle people are with me when I misspell their names.

Despite that, the other night I went to bed thinking about the news blog and the ways I earn money (not the news blog, I put out all that content for free because I want people who can’t afford the news to have at least some news), and I had such a crisis of faith because of a small error.  

“I can’t keep doing this. Why am I doing this?”

I whined. A lot. Luckily, the dogs didn’t mind.

And the next morning, I woke up feeling the same way, which never happens. In the shower, I thought, “I need a sign from the universe about whether to keep doing this.”

The first email I saw was from a journalist subscribing to my news blog and thanking me for the straightforward reporting. And then I received another kind email about the same thing. And then I realized what I dork I am.

It is sometimes so hard to believe in yourself. It is sometimes so hard to forgive yourself when you aren’t perfectly perfect. And then—whoosh—in sweeps the universe on the backs of kind humans who go out of their way to say something kind.

How amazing is that?

I’m very lucky. Not only do I get gnomes in the mail. I get kindness and correction with kindness. How cool is that? I know so many people in local government who get the exact opposite every day.

I hope they get kindness and I hope that you get that too, and I hope that you can be brave enough and vulnerable enough to go out there and learn new things, run for political office despite people spitting venom at you, support your causes, create words and art and story and friendships. Because sometimes it all can seem so overwhelming.

In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown writes that the biggest myth about vulnerability is that it is weakness.

She also says, “Vulnerability isn’t good or bad: It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness.”

I am so lucky that I have the gift of knowing so many of you and for knowing Susie via the dynamic duo of Art and Liz. I hope you all get to have a lot of Susies in your lives. And gnomes. I hope you all get a lot of gnomes.

You Don’t Have To Be Brave

Living Happy and Stuff

Photo: Me

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “What the what?” Or maybe you’ve put some expletives in there. I’ve been posting about being brave week after week after week as I push against my social anxiety and post paintings.

Here is the thing: I grew up in a family full of fear. My older sister was allegedly afraid of grass when she was little. Grass! My mother was afraid of a litany of things: birds, closed-in spaces, wide-open spaces, high spaces, water over her head, bridges in a storm. My brother inherited the bird fear, or maybe he learned it. So did my sister.

my adorable mom

And I grew up thinking that I didn’t want to be anything like that. No offense to my mom because she was wonderful, but she changed the channel if Donald Duck was on and he’s a cartoon. She wouldn’t go to parks with seagulls. She wouldn’t go near a feather pillow.

I grew up chanting “You have to face your fears” when my television turned on at night all by itself or when I had to take an algebra test or when I convinced twelve girls at a fourth grade birthday party to all hold hands and confront whatever the heck was making that groaning noise in the kitchen. Spoiler: it was the fridge and a snoring dog.

I faced my fears one after another. My voice? Check, make a podcast. Not scary enough. Make a live podcast. Art? Check, do some art. Post it online. People constantly telling me I made a mistake? Check, make a news blog without an editor.

A Friend’s Words

One night last month, a friend took me aside at a gathering and whispered, “You know, you don’t always have to be brave.”

She had a beer in her hand and a determined glow in her eye.

I gawped at her.

She nodded and twirled away back to the gathering. And I was left with her words.

You don’t always have to be brave.

It was shocking. It was the opposite of my mantra. I think our society (or a lot of us in it) believe that you always have to be brave. But life isn’t about always facing your fear, is it? If you’re afraid of sky diving, do you really have to sky dive? If you’re afraid of going bankrupt, do you really have to lose all your money? If you’re afraid of having a concussion, do you have to give yourself a concussion?

Facing all my fears has definitely expanded my world, but it’s okay for me to enjoy the world I’m in just as I’m in it, too. There can be balance.

You Don’t Always Have To Be Brave.

That’s the thing. There is sometimes a power to not pushing yourself into doing things that are really scary for you — like downhill skiing when you have no depth perception. Cough. Yes, cough. That is me.

It’s okay to sometimes hunker down, build up your reserves, and just be. That’s right. Just be. It’s okay to be who you are right in that moment. And that might not be the same who you are that you are in the very next moment. Humans get to change, to discover, to grow, to decide when and if they should be brave or not.

If you want to, you can come hang out with me at Living Happy. I’m much better about posting there. 🙂 No pressure though!

The Wise Man From the Cruise Ship

“Whoa, that fell right in,” he said.

We both peered into the sewer grate, me and a nice older man who was off a cruise ship. There near the edge, submerged in the water, was the padlock.

“It made a perfect arch when it fell off the cart,” I said.

“What’s the lock for?” he asked, his back a bit crooked, shoulders a bit slumped, face a little sweaty like he’d had a hard day exploring our little national park.

“We’re starting a new business. Down here.” I motioned at the cruise ship tender line, the series of small out buildings that people like me had staked a claim in for a rental fee, trying to make a business, to become something different or become something more.

“Let’s see if we can get the grate off,” he said, bending and grabbing the heavy metal bars. He tugged. “Nope.”

We tugged together. It didn’t move even an inch.

“That’s so nice of you to try,” I said. “We can buy another.”

“It flew off perfectly,” he said, laughing.

“I wish someone had videotaped it. It was a beautiful fall.”

He kept laughing. “It just went perfectly in.”

We stopped staring at each other’s laughing faces and back down at the lock in the murky water.

“It’s not a bad omen,” he said. “It’s a good one.”

“How is that?”

“Because you’re laughing. If you can laugh? You can get through anything.”

“Even failures?” I asked.

I think I might have made him pause for a second, maybe taken him aback, but then he smiled again, standing up really straight. “Failures especially.” He winked. “But you won’t fail.”

Shaun goes fishing

Shaun’s pretty amazing, honestly. Just like that cruise ship guy.

We have a lot of new things that I’m afraid of failing at and it would be awesome if you checked them out.

First there’s a new LIVING HAPPY blog where we talk about our journey toward happiness despite all the chaos that is our life. We delve into a bit of psychology, too. Also, all the writing tips are over there.

And I have a local news blog.

Finally, we have a super cool new true crime podcast, DUDE NO! I hope you’ll check it out. Our second episode comes out tomorrow. It’s always on Tuesdays.

Are you a cheerleading mutant?

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Are you a cheerleading mutant?

Cheerleading mutant. It sounds pretty awful, but it’s actually a good thing. Because that optimism and gratitude help make your brain healthier and life better. That gives you the sort of cheerleading persona, but where does the mutant come in? Hang on and we’re going to tell you . . .

First let’s define gratitude

“Gratitude is associated with a personal benefit that was not intentionally sought after, deserved, or earned but rather because of the good intentions of another person” (Emmons & McCullough, 2004).

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in an article called, “Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier.”

‘Beyond rotten circumstances, some people are just naturally more grateful than others. A 2014 article in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience identified a variation in a gene (CD38) associated with gratitude. Some people simply have a heightened genetic tendency to experience, in the researchers’ words, “global relationship satisfaction, perceived partner responsiveness and positive emotions (particularly love).” That is, those relentlessly positive people you know who seem grateful all the time may simply be mutants.”

Though we may not have those genes, we can make the choice to become happier by working on being more grateful. It’s like that smiling thing, we talked about ages ago (last month) where if you really smile and move all your facial muscles, your brain gets tricked into thinking you’re happy.

Brooks says,

“If grinning for an uncomfortably long time like a scary lunatic isn’t your cup of tea, try expressing gratitude instead. According to research published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, gratitude stimulates the hypothalamus (a key part of the brain that regulates stress) and the ventral tegmental area (part of our “reward circuitry” that produces the sensation of pleasure).”

Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, believes that if you write notes to people telling them you’re grateful for them, it makes you happier. That outgoing gratitude makes you more positive. He suggests writing two a day.

According to positive psychology.com’s Madhuleena Roy Chowdhyr,

“Simple practices like maintaining a gratitude journal, complimenting the self, or sending small tokens and thank you notes can make us feel a lot better and enhance our mood immediately. Couple studies have also indicated that partners who expressed their thankfulness to each other often, could sustain their relationships with mutual trust, loyalty, and had long-lasting happy relationships.”

“It was revealed that the reason why some of us are naturally more grateful than others, is the neurochemical differences at the Central Nervous System. People who express and feel gratitude have a higher volume of grey matter in the right inferior temporal gyrus (Zahn, Garrido, Moll, & Grafman, 2014).”

The article goes on to say that gratitude lessens pain, improves the quality of your sleep, gets rid ‘of toxic” emotions and helps anxiety, depression and stress regulation.







The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.


AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Allowing People To Be Kind Is Being Brave

Today, I made my first GOFUNDME that was for a person and not a nonprofit and that was a little scary.

I don’t know how to express how important and lovely it is to help others, especially when there are people like my friend who spend so much time helping to create things like playgrounds and events and keeping theaters alive.

And this guy? He’s worked so hard to build up his career and he’s a yoyng dad and now he’s already piled up $16,000 in medical debt and that just hurts my heart so much.

And yes, he’s one of my best friends.

Here we are.
And here he is with his cutie.

It feels like so much of our lives is about reaching out and doing things that make us anxious or vulnerable, which is why I made the new newsletter LIVING HAPPY about our trials and life at home and how we keep on keeping on and hope that you will, too. I hope you’ll check it out.

This one is about the kiddo lying that they slept on a couch (a hard, hard couch) at Disney

Some people make kindness feel and seem so effortless. When our dog, Gabby died, the amazing and talented Rebecca Van Slyke sent us this beautiful art that she created of Gabby. It’s gorgeous. She’s gorgeous and talented. It’s below. Look at it! Isn’t it amazing? ❤

People being kind? It’s really people being brave. So, don’t be afraid to reach out and be kind today, okay?

And also don’t forget to let people reach out and be kind to you, too.

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